In the first half of this two-part series, we discussed the importance of creating an internal compliance audit plan prior to performing your audit that takes into account all of the rules and regulations that your company must follow.
In this part, we discuss best practices for implementing and evaluating your audit plan as well as how to take action using your findings as a springboard.
Performing the Audit
Once you’ve prepared your audit plan, discuss the purpose and process of the audit with all parties involved, and be certain to review what you expect from each participant during the auditing process.
We recommend that you have several checks and balances in place in your auditing strategy to ensure that you get accurate information from all parties. If, for example, you want accurate and honest information from your agents about how well a process is working, consider using a confidential online survey. Another effective strategy is conducting peer interviews and collecting the results afterward.
The most important factors in performing the audit are timeliness, efficiency, and accuracy. You want to make sure that the audit is finished within a short window of time, that you’re not wasting time, and that the data you collect is accurate so you can use the findings to improve your processes. You can easily accomplish this if you’ve already compiled the evidence that you’re complying with all of the requirements that your company must adhere to in your master compliance database, which was discussed in our last blog.
Evaluating Your Data
Now that the stress of the audit is complete, you can get down to the real work of evaluating your internal compliance audit data and figuring out what to do next. This is where your compliance team really comes into play. As the go-to source for information on compliance best practices and implementation techniques, your team should be able to look at the results of the audit and make suggestions for changes.
If, for example, one of the items in your master compliance database was a work standard for complete call recordings, it should be easy to see from the auditing data whether this was a pass or a fail. It could be that your data showed that 95% of the time there were full call recordings, but 5% of the time there were missing pieces. You would then leverage your compliance team to identify the root cause of the missing recordings so you can find and implement a solution.
By evaluating the data in full and coming up with a list of strategies to improve on the results, you’ll be able to come up with a full compliance strategy moving forward. This will help to save you time and money in the long run as well as prepare you for a potential outside audit.
When you’ve done the legwork yourself, proving compliance is as easy as producing a report, and you’ll also be able to speak to all of your company’s processes and procedures with confidence and expertise.
When it comes to maintaining compliance, your business’s best strategy is to stay on top of it internally. Making sure that you have an A+ compliance team that can perform an audit and ensuring that your master database is up-to-date at all times is key. In addition, being open to change and ready to modify your practices based on each change in regulation is a winning strategy.